Stephen finds inspiration for his artwork in the plants, animals and landscapes of the bushland around Sydney. He enjoys depicting these in a realistic manner, working in acrylic, watercolour or pencil.
His ambition is for his artwork to inspire in others a love and concern for our amazing creation. He has just been shortlisted for the CBCA Crichton Award 2013 for his first picture book, Apollo the Powerful Owl.
As a child I was raised on a strict diet of books about dinosaurs. They provided vivid windows into a long-lost world that ensnared my imagination. Most intriguing of all, however, was that these fantastical creatures were real! I saw their giant bones in the museum. And so, like a set of fossil footprints, I was placed firmly upon a path that led to a palaeontology degree.
Chief among these books was A Brontosaur: the life story unearthed. It follows a sauropod named Ajax, from a hatchling that barley escapes becoming breakfast for flying pterosaurs, through the challenges of a hostile world, until ultimately contesting the alpha male for leadership of the herd.
I long considered the full-page illustrations as a benchmark to aspire to. Even to this day the story brings a tear to my eye.
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